Old Abominable - Stoudts Brewing Co.

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Old AbominableOld Abominable

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147 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 147
Reviews: 72
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 10.6%
Wants: 34
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stoudts Brewing Co. visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Phatz on 04-30-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 147 | Reviews: 72
Reviews by MONKandTUCK:
Photo of MONKandTUCK
2.88/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Deep garnet. Not too dark, not much head. Looks like a good Barleyiwne.

A - Some dark fruits and malts. No hops. Nothing especially pronounced.

T - Bite of dark fruits, plenty sweet. Nothing especially well-developed here. There's a little heat. Not much to speak of, though.

M - Chewy, very sweet.

O - The flavors aren't offensive, but they're kinda unrefined. Nothing here stands out as foul, but the beer is so challenging to drink. It's missing a few things. Nothing really sets this apart.

More User Reviews:
Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Past draft at Bocktown Beer and Grill, since the Burgh didn't receive any bottles I was thrilled to see this tap handle instead. Appears a cloudy ruby amber brown, and it forms with a large cream hued head that leaves thick lacing all around my chalice. Aromatics contain vanilla and oak notes with herbal pine and citrus fruit along with a mild spicy tartness that's kind of hard to nail down completely. Flavor is somewhat mild compared to other Barleywines out there, everything blended pretty well mild alcohol with a mix of ripe fruit and deep herbal citrus hop edges brings it all together no cloying malt sweetness but sturdy stand up caramel malt edges were nice. Mouthfeel is medium bodied not cloying or syrupy yet enough body to get it done, moderate carbonation allows this beer to flow well. Drinkability takes a few to get this beer after you get it though beware it's hard to stay away from good barleywine draft offering from the folks in Adamstown, PA.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.41/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Kegatron for the trade.

Sorry to bring down the average on this one folks, but this is very odd for an english barleywine. this to me seem very american in style, and somewhat light even for that. Pours a deep ruby red with pretty good head that dissipates quickly. nose is weak hops with a good malty backbone. Taste is defenitey american barleywine, just seems toned down to me. decent smooth mouthfeel and very good drinkability, but lacking in flavor, especially when catagorized as english BW. Good beer for sure, just seems like a barleywine flavored session ale in taste. Excited to see if the barrel aged version is better.

Photo of TheSupremeAJ
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at east end ale house in Harleysville, PA.

Appearance- Ruby orange color with good head.

Scent- Aroma is thin anda little malty...

Taste- A balanced ale with some barleywine qualities.

Mouthfeel- Medium, however very approachable..

I honestly expected a lot more flavor all considering... Not a bad brew however it left a lot to be desired. In this world of extreme brews it doesn't really fit in, however I do see it as a balanced staple.

Photo of nickd717
3.56/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big bottle generously shared by Arbitrator - thanks, Mihir!

Pours a mostly clear amber color with a large beige head that leaves thick foam and great lacing. Really looks awesome, much like BA Fat Dog.

Aroma is sweet caramel, earth, and faded resinous, piney, and citrusy hops.

Flavor is pretty much the standard profile for the style with caramel malt, toffee, malted milk balls, earthiness, and a complex hop profile, mainly citrus and resin.

Medium body, mildly syrupy and sticky, with nice bitterness.

Drinkability is decent. Above average for the style overall, but not great.

Photo of Kegatron
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on cask at the brewpub.

Pours a murky dark amber with a finger width of light tan foam that lingers around with a creamy retention and nice sticky lacing . Aroma is fresh hops and citrus with some slight sweetness behind it and just a smidge of heat.

The taste is pungent up front with hops and citrus but is nicely balanced by mellow malt sweetness. The malt backbone, while very supportive, is still subdued enough to allow the hops to really shine. It finishes with some lingering hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is a light medium with a soft creamy feel. That 9% ABV is present but stays behind the scenes for the most part which helps keep it very drinkable.

This is a great American Style Barleywine with an assertive hop presence that seems to come out even more on cask. Get this at the brewpub while you can.

Photo of Vonerichs
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy toffee colored body with a little sediment. Good head.

The smells are toffee and earthy hops. There's a little bit of wood in there, too.

The taste is subdued and doesn't really pop. Toffee and caramel malt with some earthy hops. There's a strange aftertaste that I couldn't put my finger on, but was almost salty.

Mouthfeel is a little light for a barleywine. It's on the lighter side of medium bodied. Good carbonation.

It's a ok barleywine, but there are a lot better ones out there. When considering the price point, I say just stay away from it.

Photo of wspscott
3.17/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml GREEN bottle with no date poured into a Duvel tulip
(no date, but I purchased this the beginning of last December, so almost a year old at least.)

Why would you cork/cage a beer that you are going to charge $18 for and then use green glass? If I had been paying attention to either price or container I would not have purchased this. Oh well, let's see what's in the bottle.

A: Very dark copper, almost light brown, very hazy. Pours with a thin off-white head that doesn't quite fade, but leaves very little lace.
S: No sign of a skunk :) Lots of dark caramel, brown sugar, some yeast fruitiness, no hops.
T: Some caramel sweetness, makes me think of a light version of a Scotch Ale, no hop character, just a little bit of bitterness in the background. There is a weird bitter raisin flavor in the background, it makes me think there is a weird interaction of the yeast and malts. Slightly metallic at the end.
M: More carbonation than I usually associate with a barleywine, there is "creaminess" in the mouthfeel that seems to be fighting the carbonation.
D: This is a fine english barleywine, but not a great one. I will have no problem finishing the bottle, but I would not purchase again, even if it was significantly cheaper, there are many better examples of the style out there.

In the end, this doesn't seem to have suffered from the green bottle, but I still wonder what they were thinking.

Photo of shbobdb
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A very kind gift from Sephiroth, I got this very fine beer at the opening of Hot Shotz in Indy.

Well, I just crashed my car today, so I figured what says, "Awwww, hell" like a 750 of barleywine? Now, I know I say this everytime I have a barleywine, but this is an absolutely amazing beer -- possibly the best barleywine I've ever had.

It pours a rich garnet with a head that lasts and lasts. At the very least, you get a solid ring-around-the beer.

The smell is quite boozy. But it tastes absolutely fantastic. Just an onslaught of malt. Rich maple syrup and dark fruit concentrates. There is also a pleasant burnt-oak taste which provides most of the astringency necessary for this beer. There are just enough hops to balance out the beer.

Wow. Good times, good times.

Photo of hippityhops85
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap at the Blue Dog in Lansdale. $4 a tulip.

Pours a clear deep mahogany with an almost-white head that lingers for a while and then dissipates to a ring around the minescus.

Aroma is initially a nice, spicy hop character backed with a huge malt backbone.

Taste is infinitely complex. Hoppy tones doing battle with a maltiness ending in a tie. Very well balanced. A bit of alcohol heat as well but it definitely does not distract from the taste. So freaking good.

Mouthfeel is very moreish. Carbonation is perfect for the style.

This is a renoun beer for Stoudts and well deserved. An excellent American example of the style and highly recommended.

Photo of akorsak
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A corked and caged 765 mL bottle purchased at the brewery over Christmas. This beer is not labelled as barrel-aged and therefore I am reviewing it as the regular ol' Old Abominable (also, the taste and nose support the lack of barrel aging).

A: The barleywine is deep amber color, revealing dark reds when held to light. The deep color makes the ale semi-opaque, yielding only the occasionaly thin strand of carbonation. The head neared a finger and quickly receded.

S: The nose is vegetal, full of lush grains with a nice green freshness. There is a noticeable lack of hops (it is English after all).

T: Nice 'n' malty, this beer is a good sipper without a blast of hops. The graininess is strong, bready with a slight touch of rye darkness. Hop bitterness emerges mid-sip to balance out the malts but they quickly recede and allow the malts to return. A slight molasses sweetness adds a further flourish of flavor near the end of the sip.

M: The graininess is the most defining aspect, a sweet vegetal taste that is deceivingly strong.

D: The abv is high and you can feel it mid-way through a dinner bottle. The grain flavors are strong and nicely define the ale. Good for a cold night.

Photo of philbe311
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Crown and corked bottle picked up at the brewery...

A - Just shy of two fingers worth of tightly packed creamy egg shell colored froth mixed with some chunky bubbles... Solid retention gives way to a full creamy lacing... The color is a deep rich, slightly murky, reddish amber... Loads of sticky lacing clings to the glass...

S - Muted grape juice... Candied sugars... A touch of piney hop resins... A touch of grains... A vague alcohol presence... A rather pleasant aroma, but a tad bit to subdued for both my liking and the style...

T - Sweet raisins... A bit of fig... Toffee... Some nuttiness... Molasses... A minor piney hop component... A touch of booziness on the finish... Some red wine like tannins...

M - Dense and medium bodied... Perfect carbonation levels... Clean throughout... A tad bit of a dry finish...

D - Good balance... A decent enough English Barleywine... Seems to be lacking some of the "malt bomb" qualities I look for in the style... Seems to be stuck somewhere in no man's land between the English and American style interpretations... Enjoyable none the less...

Photo of Hunture
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer during the New Year’s Eve party (2006-2007) at Stoudt's brewery/beer hall. It was served on-tap and in a pint glass, which is not my first choice of glass for a barley wine but for this type of event it was more than fine.

Appearance: A beautiful orange-brown but cloudy, damn near opaque even upon warming. The pour was good with a 0.5-1 inch head.

Smell: Very soft malt, somewhat bready but with few esters and even fewer caramel notes…..overall, not very aromatic.

Taste: Starts with a very nice soft malt palate which fades into soft fruit (pear, peach?). Slight bitterness in the aftertaste balances the malt sweetness quite well although the balance is toward the sweet malt overall…..little to no hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Nice, viscous (less so than 90-minute IPA however) with an alcohol warming sensation late palate. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: impressively drinkable for a barley wine. I had two pints and they went down almost too easy.

Photo of charlesw
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Funny thing is... I figured it would probably be classed as an american BW and I'd have to slam it all over the place. It's much better classified as english!

Hazy brown, low head.

Smells like English Barleywine. Like... Spot on. That, exactly. Plumb brandy and sweet candy. Heavy malts. Raisins and syrup and other sweets...

The flavor... Well. It's weird. The mouthfeel is there - nice and thick and rich. But there's no flavor. Not even sweetness. Really weird and kind of sad, too, given the huge nose it has.

Ah well. Better luck next time?

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Big 750 pulled out of the cellar... Got this exactly 2 years ago from the fantastic trader DIM... Wow.. doesn't seem like it's been that long. Thanks a bunch Dan!!

Sharing this with my carpool buddy .. after an unexpected 12 hour day at work... Poured into my Delirium goblet... Great 2 finger head that sticks and stick... the lacing looks like aerated cake batter... the brew is deep amber.

Lite toasty aroma with a significant amount of lite dried fruit esters... hints of English hops.

Flavor basically mirrors the nose.. more biscuity/toasty notes than the aroma.. and the caramel seems to linger on the palate for longer than expected... mild spicy/grassy hoppiness... fruitiness reminds me of red plums without the sweetness (tough to explain, go with it ;-) ...

Body is medium for the style and carbonation seems a tad high, yet it somehow retains a sorta creamy mouthfeel..

I pulled this out to gauge how it is aging.... I think I will leave my last bottle for another year and maybe pull it out at the 2011 Spring BW tasting.

Thanks again Dan... You're a good man... I know married life can take the wind out of the sails, but we really should do another trade sometime.. poke poke... prod prod..


Photo of PEBKAC
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Half-sized growler from New Beer. Ommegang anniversary glassware. All the corned beef is long gone. Go easy on the cabbage please.

Pours with barely a tickle of off-white head. A dazed-looking orange amber.

Smell is big on ethanol, leather, caramel, & a faint mishmash of dark fruit. This one really needed to warm up before I got anything significant.

Taste is bittersweet, twiggy, & tannic. Sweetened black tea, leather, bushy greens, & a dry biscuit grain backend. Not all that bitter actually. Bit oxidized. Tastes a tad watered down, but easier to pronounce.

Alcohol isn't as much a factor as I thought it would be. Carbonation could definitely use some work, but that's on the draft system, not Stoudt's. At least it's not syrupy.

Decent mellow flavor. Fill wasn't too bad(I believe it was somewhere around $8). Easier to reach for then some of the overly sweet things you see in the English BW category on BA.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed this one in a trade a good bit ago and had been sitting on it for the time being. Decided I had waited long enough and cracked open the vintage 2005 bottle last night. Corked and caged this 750ml beauty was served at cellar temp and poured into an oversized wine glass. Consumed on 09/04/2008.

The pour was very nice. A very hazy and cloudy ruby tinted light brown liquid emerged from the bottle. Some light carbonation could be seen streaming up from the bottom of the glass and a touch of yeast was seen floating as well. A light head, maybe a quarter inch rose up at first pour, though the second and third pour produced much more. Decent side glass lacing.

The aroma was nice, albeit a touch light. Very sweet smelling with the candy sort of aroma that you tend to find with an aged barley wine. Some light hints at the hops, but mostly faded into the sugary malt profile that dominated this one. The flavor was just great though, a very solid malt base had mellowed everything very nicely. Not a touch of alcohol in this one at all, in fact I found myself drinking this one wayyy too fast for my own good as time went on. Rich and again very sweet, it was like a kid in the candy store. So smooth with a nice medium, well carbonated body that only lended itself to being even more sippable.

Overall I thought this was excellent, really a very nice effort here and one of the better aged barley wines I have had in a god long while. Wish I had access to more of this as it was really good and probably would have held up at least another year or so.

Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Rattle ‘n Hum, New York, NY

A: The beer is clear reddish amber in color and has a faint amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger-high light beige head that gradually died down and left a bit of lacing on the surface and a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of caramel and fruits in the nose—raisins seem to stand out in particular.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has flavors of caramel and raisins along with some malty sweetness.
M: It feels relatively full-bodied and slightly sticky on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a nice sipping beer because it has some complexities in the flavors but the alcohol isn’t very prominent in the taste.

Photo of weeare138
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Ortino's Northside...
Appears a turbid, russett toned amber with a small white head that fades into a small cap and collar. Spotty streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of vanilla, American Oak, dark fruit, caramel, sugar, roasted nuts, and mild citrus blasts.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with oak tannins taking over the brew.
Mouthfeel is smooth with light syrup...the smoothest barleywine that I remember having, especially being this young. Overall, it's a nice tasting, slightly sweet brew with an oakiness that seems to take over the brew.

Photo of Phatz
4.65/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

[Edit - they have now named this beer Old Abominable]

What a true treat. I visited Stoudt's Black Angus Restaurant today, in celebration of my Birthday. When I server told me they had a special English Barley Wine Ale on-cask I was delighted. The beer was even better than I could have imagined.

Appearance: The lighting was very dim (so it looked to me like); it was a deep amber ruby color beer with an attractive frothy cap that lasted throughout the entire duration of the beer.

Smell: Divinely sweet caramel, lightly toasted malts and sweet gently grapefruity English hop character filled the nose.

Taste & Mouthfeel: The taste and mouthfeel ran together. The beer was so remarkably silky smooth it was heavenly. It was so easy, relaxed, quaffable, I couldn't imagine a better tasting (or feeling) Barley Wine. The tastes were all so magnificently balanced it is almost hard to describe. There a lightly toasted sweet malt base on which a fruity citrus hop character flowed. It was almost like a bit of grapefruit juice in some apple juice. The citrus was mild (muted) so that is was not cloyingly tart. Just a gentle nibble of tartness on the tongue. Then it had a smooth clean finish with very little aftertaste. At 9% ABV I couldn't tell at all. The alcohol was totally masked.

Drinkability: This is certainly not a chugger, it is a sipping beer but that said it is remarkably easy to drink! Each sip is so smooth and enticingly silky it begs another one. After one glass (which took most of dinner to sip)I could have easily had another. Truly exceptional! Well done Stoudt's!

Hope this is helpful.

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to DIM for the chance to try this barleywine!

A - rich amber color, a slight offwhite head on the initial pour that dissappeared almost instantly. Around a half hour later I got a better 1/4 foam head that lasted a bit longer. A few small trickles of bubbles in a crystal clear brew.

S - sweet caramel malts and a light almost citric hop note

T - rich caramel and bready malts interspersed with hints of spicy citric hop notes.

M - medium / full bodied, lightly carbonated, clean finish.

D - quite drinkable. very very smooth and pleasant which isn't always the case with a 750 of such a big beer.

Photo of donkeyrunner
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at alcove temp. Dark rusty orange squash color. Loose powder head tightens up as it shrinks and holds out until glass bottom. One squiggle of foam left on top of my glass. Good bad bottle art.

Smells like rum raisin, caramel, orange peach yogurt and granular sugar. Tastes like caramel soaked raisin bread. We aged this one for about a year, waiting for a snowstorm and any heat has settled into cozy giddiness.

Really solid overall except that there was a lot of yeast at the bottom so decant carefully. Our last pour looked like Bud mud.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 2/22/2011 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish amber color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains caramelized malts, fruit, brown sugar and some hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of fruit, brown sugar and caramel followed by a hearty malt character. The hops presence in mild but complementary enough to bring some balance. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, decent representation of style, it might not be the best EBW out there but it's solid enough to be worth drinking for a while if you want a poundable high-octane beer.

Photo of ppoitras
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle purchased at the brewery. Corked and caged.

Poured into a DFH tulip, formed a 1/4" beige head above the slightly cloudy reddish copper brew. Bubbles quickly retreat to the rim, with ample legs but minimal lacing. Aroma is sweet and lightly fruity.

Taste starts sweet, but quickly finds fruit and bitterness in the middle, with the bitterness winning out at the close. Alcohol warmth lingers. Mouthfeel is rocky, with alright drinkability. This one just doesn't put it all together, which was disappointing after the good start.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to mdfb79 for sharing this bottle. Served in a Bruery tulip.

Pours a moderately-clear copper-red with a thin off-white head. Thin cap and a nice collar throughout. Nose brings some light malt plus a bit of cherry and fruit. Light booze Flavor is slightly malty with a bit of sweetness. Light grainy dryness. Moderate body with low carbonation. A bit of booze and a slightly-dry finish. A bit of sweetness. Decent barleywine.

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Old Abominable from Stoudts Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 147 ratings.